Here is a foodie fantasy come to fruition: Niche and Corso 32 in the same night. We began at Niche, the young upstart on Jasper Avenue west, which opened its doors but a few months ago but already boasts packed tables nearly nightly. I wrote about Niche for Vue Weekly (though it is not yet in print) several weeks ago, when I was lucky enough to have a salted caramel brownie with lemon creme for dessert (pictured). Since then, I've done nothing but rave that this dessert is the stuff of legend. It is rich, chocolaty, and the salty-sweet contrast makes one long for another bite, and then another. The lemon whipped cream on top could be a stand-alone dessert. I'm already enamoured of Niche's food; the brownie just seals the deal.
We moved a few blocks east to Corso 32. The room was hopping and it was already 9:30 pm. We stole glimpses into the semi-open kitchen and lusted after every item on the menu. We enjoyed ruby-hued goblets of Scansano and indulged in house-made goat ricotta with crostini. A cloud on crostini. Our original intent was dessert at Corso, but the siren song of goat cheese ravioli with chard and hazelnuts was impossible to resist. Tender pasta, tangy cheese, earthy chard and toasty hazelnuts. A dish that exemplified the paradox of simplicity and complexity.
A night to remember. A night of epic proportions. How heartening to see the Jasper Avenue phoenix rising from the urban ashes.